Monday, March 30, 2009

Belly shot: 35 weeks pregnant

35.2 weeks from LMP. After my sleepless night a few days back, I decided I needed something to pick me up, so I got my hair cut. I was trying to recreate the original hair cut from a few months ago and it's close, but not quite the same. Still not bad, though.
I finally found a family doctor in town and he's only 1 1/2 blocks away, right next door to the dentist's office and video rental store. I brought Zari in today for a meet & greet and to ask him about selective/delayed vaccinations. Zari hasn't had any yet and I'm still trying to figure out what, if any, I will give her. He was upfront that he strongly supports vaccinating, but respectful of whatever I wanted to do. So he said to do some reading & research and let him know my plan at our next visit.

I'd like to check out Dr. Sears' Vaccine Book. I find that the literature on vaccinations is usually either so rabidly pro or against that they both turn me off and make me skeptical. There are some I most likely will not do (chicken pox, Hepatitis B) and several that I'm on the fence about (MMR, DTaP, polio). Rubella, for example, is something to be concerned about when a woman enters childbearing age. At that point, it would be prudent to run an antibody titer and, if it's negative, accept the vaccine before trying to get pregnant. We don't live on a farm or near livestock so tetanus is quite unlikely to be an issue. Hmmmm...

I also gave him a prescription request from the CNM I'm seeing. In my state, there's a loophole that doesn't allow independently practicing CNMs to write prescriptions for certain pharmaceuticals (things such as antihemorrhagic meds like Pitocin & methergine & cytotec, abx for GBS+ moms, lidocaine for suturing, etc). She carries these medications with her but technically/legally can't administer them without a prescription signed by a physician. It can be any licensed physician in our state--even a dentist (but unfortunately not a chiropractor, otherwise I know one who most likely would sign it). He said he'd look over the request, consult with his OB colleagues, and get back to me. I hope it won't be a problem.


  1. i found this helpful. it's how we found our kids practitioner.

  2. My daughter is mostly un-vax'd for now ... she has had the full series of one vaccine, but that's it (she's 9 months). I have the Vaccine Book and it's a great read with phenomenal information. I'd also highly recommend - it's a great site!

  3. My daught is almost three and she has had no vaccines yet either. i have found all the literature to be very pro or against as you said. which makes me even more skeptical. its so tough i would love to get the Drs sears book as well. good luck in your decision making.

  4. You look great, love the hair!
    So nice to find a close doctor to WALK to! How wonderful---he sounds very of luck in your vax decision, Dr Sears is a great resource.

    FWIW: we stopped vaxing in 2001 when Greta was 4 and Mickey was 1...then had to do a few to get them in they are back home and we will not be doing anymore. Besides Tetanus. Our trusted family freind/doctor told us a couple of stories about healthy teens dying from lockjaw that sent shivers down our spines...and MAYBE the meningitis one, maybe.

    Anyhow, glad to see the weekly belly pic!

  5. I've heard that Vaccinations by Aviva Jill Romm is very objective, though I have not read it myself. You look great!

  6. I don't even trust the rubella titer test. I've tested negative at all my hospital births...even at one 18 months AFTER being vaccinated for rubella. Even after nursing my children through having actual german titer!

    Dr Sears book is awesome!

  7. If you are interested in homeopathy, this is a great book

    Another great book

  8. There's a growing measles outbreak in the U.S. and Europe right now among unvaccinated children (and spreading to infants), something to look into. I've also personally heard of children with pertussis who've had to be resuscitated (although it is worse in smaller babies). I liked the book "What your Doctor might not tell you about childhood vaccinations", I though it was balanced. It takes a cautious approach to vaccinations and recommends delayed approach and only one strain at a time. I chose delayed vaccination, although not as strict as the book.

  9. There's a growing measles outbreak in the U.S. and Europe right now among unvaccinated children (and spreading to infants), something to look into. I've also personally heard of children with pertussis who've had to be resuscitated (although it is worse in smaller babies). I liked the book "What your Doctor might not tell you about childhood vaccinations", I though it was balanced. It takes a cautious approach to vaccinations and recommends delayed approach and only one strain at a time. I chose delayed vaccination, although not as strict as the book.

  10. wow... so far along already!!!

    My boys have not been vaxed and I am quite comfortable in my decision because I have experienced first hand the negative side-effects of them...

    "How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor" is another good book btw...

  11. I'll have to read that book. My children are mostly unvaccinated, but they will probably have to be at some point for missions and such. I have found Dr. Sears to be a wonderful resource at other times, so I'm sure this book will be just as good.

    You look so beautiful, Rixa. I can't believe how fast this is going (for me). Are you still feeling pretty good except for the breathing issues? Were you able to get that sorted out yet?

  12. Vaccination is such a toughy. Good luck making a decision. I work in public health, so my son is vaxed, but we have staggered the vaxes so he's only getting one shot at a time (even if it's more than one pathogen, it's never more than three), and we may wait on varicella until he HAS to get it for school. He gets fewer doses of the chemicals and preservatives by getting the combined vaccines (as opposed to doing only one at a time). Does one not vax because of worry about chemicals and preservatives, not vax because "nature should build a healthy immune system through natural challenges" and you feel that the introduced pathogens are more harmful to the child's immune system than a random encounter, or both?

    One of the main reasons we decided to vaccinate is the whole 'shared social risk' argument - for example, what if my unvaccinated child was exposed to rubella and then passed it on to a pregnant woman and harmed her unborn baby? Do I have an obligation to do what I can to protect this child, or just my own? There is a tipping point where if too many people are not vaxed, there will be outbreaks, and most of this stuff, healthy people can weather; it is often the immune-compromised who can't fight it off. Is it fair to those people to put them at risk?

    Also, I KNOW our sanitation is better than it was in Black River Falls, WI at the end of the nineteenth century, but the diphtheria epidemic featured in Wisconsin Death Trip, by Michael Lesy, made me realize we are really lucky that we don't have these disease outbreaks on a regular basis. But on the other hand, autism, ADHD, obesity, cancer in one's 50s, who knows what the short or long-term effects of vaccines might be? Maybe we will look back in 75 years and wonder how we could have been so stupid...

    Re: tetanus - you don't have to be on a farm to get it. Rusty nail in a vacant lot, horseback riding lessons at a facility where the horses have barbed wire on top of a fence, shop class. Just to play devil's advocate here.

  13. I really like the Sears book and he is in favor of most vaccines on a delayed schedule. We're vax'ing Robin on a delay. We started at 6 months and so far have done Polio, DTAP, Pc, and HIB. Next up we have to grapple with MMR and varicella (req'd for school). I found that my FP was initially supportive of a delayed schedule mostly because I think he wanted me in the door and getting any vaxes I would take. Now he's getting pushier since we're "caught up" for the 1st year. I would like to delay MMR and varicella and do them one at a time (live virus vaxes are pretty nasty from what I hear). I'm personally not "against" vax and so far Robin has taken them with no side effects. But I think the current schedule is way too aggressive and overwhelming for tiny bodies. I believe each child should be considered and the risks and benefits weighed (some children probably are more sensitive and I would make different choices for them than I would for my hale and hardy little bird).

    I know that docs are often trying to get as much done as possible since kids probably spend more time at the doc in their first year of life than any other time. I saw at Robin's doc's that they're recommending gardasil at BIRTH for girls now. Can you believe??? Not for my kids.

  14. What about HIB? That hasn't been eradicated and it can cause serious morbidity and mortality to young children. The suppposed ill effects of vaccines, given in the recommended schedule, are not supported by the best scientific research. So what you are left with in the "con" camp is speculative hysteria. And, I agree with Katherine that one of the primary reasons to vaccinate is to provide "herd" immunity and to protect those who cannot be vaccinated and/or who are weak. To neglect to do that for speculative reasons...seems selfish.

  15. I've struggled with vaccine issues for a long time too. I think you can make a good evidence-based case that generally speaking, vaccines do far more good than harm, esp on a population-wide basis.

    However, modern medicine likes to take a good idea and press it to the extreme. Antibiotics were a blessing in the world.....but overuse has led to superbugs and a lot of unforseen problems.

    I really wonder if we will find the same thing to be true of vaccinations in time. I think we now are doing too many, too often, too early, and potentially overloading the immune system too quickly. Vaccines are generally a good thing, but at what point do they become too much of a good thing and therefore a bad thing?

    I also think that while population-wide studies show no convincing harm from vaccines, some individuals are more vulnerable to harm from them than others.

    Like many, I vaccinate my children, but not on the recommended schedule and not for everything they recommend. Because my boys are sensitive to eggs (and several vaccines use eggs as part of their process), we are esp cautious about egg-based vaccines.

    I discussed this in detail with my pedi and she was fine with us spacing them out more and delaying some significantly.

    However, she did STRONGLY recommend the tetanus shot for infants, because the germ is around more than you'd think and little babies put hands in mouths soooo much. She also felt strongly that the meningitis (Hib) vaccine was important for young ones.

    We never do more than two combo vaccines at one time, and usually only one. However, my children are fully bfed for a long period and are not in daycare. If my children were exposed to more germs via daycare or not bf (weaker immune responses) I might be more aggressive in vaccinating them.

    You're right, this is a very difficult issue to find reasonable material on. So much hysteria and strong-arming from both sides, you just don't know whose opinion you can trust.

    Best wishes to you as you search for your own best answers. Just know you aren't alone in these questions.

  16. Interesting discussion. I really appreciated Katherine's comments, especially her reminder that these decisions are not just individual, but also community-wide decisions.


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